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by Michael J. Shapiro | November 16, 2011

Smith Travel Research released updated forecasts this week for the U.S. hotel industry, calling for smaller performance increases next year than previously expected. Continued global economic uncertainty, as well as tougher year-over-year comparisons, were responsible for the change. The company expects occupancy to remain virtually flat, with a 0.2 percent increase. STR is calling for a 3.7 percent jump in average daily rate, and a 3.9 percent hike in revenue per available room. Meanwhile, for 2011 the company forecasts the year will end with a 4.0 percent occupancy increase, 3.6 percent average daily rate hike and 7.7 percent jump in RevPAR. "While we are still confident industry performance will remain positive during 2012,” said STR president Amanda Hite, “we are concerned about the lack of growth in the overall macro-economic indicators." Other prognosticators issued slightly more optimistic forecasts at the Hospitality Leadership Forum this past weekend, according to STR site hotelnewsnow.com. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts 2012 increases of 1.3 percent in occupancy, 5.2 percent in average daily rate and 6.5 percent in RevPAR; PKF Hospitality Research forecasts occupancy to inch up by 0.8 percent, average daily rate to climb by 4.7 percent and RevPAR to rise by 6.2 percent.